Mining Geology and Exploration

Mining Geology and Exploration

MMPE 290

Plate Tectonics and mineral deposition. MMPE 290 .

Mining Geology and Exploration How much metal is available? What is a mineral? What is ore? How do ore deposits form? Mining exploration methods Role of exploration in mining Case histories MMPE 290 y y y y y y .

0072 0.0058 0.000008 0.00016 0.0000002 Note for comparison: Silicon 28% Oxygen 46% .8 0.Economically Important Metal Concentrations in Earth¶s Crust Metal Aluminum Iron Copper Nickel Zinc Uranium Lead Silver Gold Concentration (% by weight) 8.0082 0.001 0.0 5.

CuFeS (a sulphide) .SiO2 (an oxide) hematite .Fe2O3 (another oxide) chalcopyrite .What is a mineral? A solid naturally-occurring compound having a definite chemical composition Examples: quartz .

What is an orebody? An occurrence of minerals or metals in sufficiently high concentration to be profitable to mine and process using current technology and under current economic conditions. .

What is ore grade? Ore grade is the concentration of economic mineral or metal in an ore deposit. · Weight percentage (base metals) · Grams/tonne or oz/ton (precious metals) .

3 5 0.001 .Economically Important Metals Typical Ore Deposit Average Grades Metal Aluminum Iron opper ickel inc ranium ead ilver old Typical Grade ( y eig t) 30 53 0.5-4 1 4 0.01 0.0001-0.

What does it take to be an ore deposit? 10 2 Ir 10 1 l i tr ti i 10 0 i r i r l y=x Ty i l Or b y 10 -1 10 - 10 -3 10 - 10 - 10 - r st l ¢ ¡   10 - ¤ il r l £ 10 -1 10 1 10 3 tr ti .

a hydrothermal solution Minerals precipitate from hydrothermal solution and deposit in cracks or veins in rock .Hydrothermal Ore Deposits As magma cools. aluminum) deposit first Solidification of magma releases water . more abundant metals (silicon.

C.Metamorphic Ore Deposits Concentration of minerals caused by high temperatures and pressures near intrusions Examples: Lead-zinc deposits in southeast B. Diamonds Garnets .

Hydrothermal and Metamorphic Ore Deposits Geyser or ot spring zoning Hydrot ermal solutions entering veins in rocks Ore deposit Alteration of rocks y eat and pressure Intrusion .

resistant minerals in streams. e. burial and petrification of vegetation.g. e.g.Sedimentary Ore Deposits Deposition of dense. Coal Deposits. Potash and Salt Deposits Accumulation. e. Placer gold Precipitation of minerals from lakes-oceans (Evaporite Deposits). lakes etc (Alluvial Deposits).g. .

Exploration Methods · · · · · · Remote sensing Geological mapping Geophysical surveys Geochemical surveys Bulk sampling Drilling (core or destructive) .

Airborne Geophysics Helicopter Bu h a le ³Bird´ .


Geochemical Anomalies .

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